In my dream, I am standing with my angel. He tells me to notice a man who is teaching a Sabbath School class and is dressed in a shirt and suit that have been professionally cleaned and pressed. His necktie coordinates with the suit, and he wears a kerchief in the front pocket of his coat as well as a small lapel pin of a cross. His dress shoes look as if they were painted with high-gloss paint. His appearance is of someone who is in great shape. His full head of hair is very well maintained with every hair perfectly in place. As he smiles, his perfect teeth are a bright white. His hands are not calloused, and his nails look as if they are professionally manicured. He speaks with perfect enunciation, as if strategically selecting each word and pronouncing it in his mind before stating it aloud. His mannerisms and movements are planned, as if each hand gesture is to coordinate with each word he says. As he talks, one can notice he is highly educated from all his studies. His appearance is that of a financially successful individual. He invites certain individuals to read select passages from the Bible or lesson study.
Sabbath School ends and the church service begins. The man is now an elder on the platform. Once again every move and every word is pre-planned. He now invites everyone who is able to kneel for the congregational prayer. He removes a paper from inside his Bible and reads the most eloquent prayer filled with the most “flowery” words that seem to waft through the sanctuary. He seems to present the most perfect Christian character.
I am now shown this same individual during different times of the week. Sometimes he uses dishonest practices with co-workers and other individuals. He completely ignores a beggar who asks him for money. His driving habits are like someone who would do whatever it takes to get ahead of another individual. His private prayer time is short and the words are rushed, unlike his public prayers.
My angel now takes me back to the Sabbath School class and says to notice another man. He is not slim like the other man and is dressed in plain slacks and a dress shirt without a necktie. His shoes are worn on the tops as if they were sanded down. He listens to the Sabbath School comments, which are of a highly theological nature. The teacher, who is the well-dressed man, calls on certain individuals to read passages.
After a while the teacher asks the plain-dressed man to read from his Bible. Someone sitting next to him leans over to help him find the book and verse. He stands and begins to read, but even the simplest of words cause him to struggle. The teacher interrupts him and says, “Its okay. I will read the verse.” He looks at the verse as if to pre-read it again, reads it, and then proceeds to look up as if an actor just read it. All are greatly impressed how he projects his talent in reading. The plain-dressed man sits down in shame.
I am now shown this man during his work week. He goes out of his way to help people. He sees a family broken down along the highway and stops to assist them. He helps a woman, with a child in her arms and a toddler wandering off, by loading her groceries into her car. I now see him listening to audio tapes of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. He tries to follow along in his Bible. After hours of listening, he kneels, and I now understand why the tops of his shoes are worn. He has spent more time on his knees than walking. Much time goes by as he speaks aloud in the most fluid prayer. The words waft through the air as if the most wonderful aroma, as if each word is a gentle and beautiful butterfly. Each word is spoken from his heart, not as if pre-planned and scripted to entertain others. It is now that I notice a bright form of light in the room and many angels standing with him. A bright form kneels to the right side of the man, and with His left hand He covers the man with His cape.
For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
Conflict and Courage, p. 221
As Elijah, divinely directed in seeking a successor, passed the field in which Elisha was plowing, he cast upon the young man's shoulders the mantle of consecration. . . . To him it was the signal that God had called him to be the successor of Elijah.
Acts of the Apostles, p. 17
For the carrying on of His work, Christ did not choose the learning or eloquence of the Jewish Sanhedrin or the power of Rome. Passing by the self-righteous Jewish teachers, the Master Worker chose humble, unlearned men to proclaim the truths that were to move the world. These men He purposed to train and educate as the leaders of His church. They in turn were to educate others and send them out with the gospel message. That they might have success in their work they were to be given the power of the Holy Spirit. Not by human might or human wisdom was the gospel to be proclaimed, but by the power of God.